Kiwi pushes top of greenback, euro ranges as ECB meeting looms
The New Zealand dollar rose to the top of recent trading ranges against the greenback and euro as investors gear up for the European Central Bank to review its monetary policy amid signs the 17-nation bloc's economy is deteriorating.
The kiwi rose to 83.80 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 83.50 cents at 8am and 83.55 cents yesterday. It advanced to 64.09 euro cents from 63.63 cents yesterday.
European central bankers are expected to keep the benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.75 percent when they review monetary policy settings at their January 10 meeting, as weaker economic figures spark fears about the region's ability to recover from its sovereign debt crisis.
Eurozone unemployment rose to a record 11.8 percent in November, according Eurostat data, while separate data showed Germany's exports dropped more than expected in the same month.
"The kiwi/euro might continue to rally up if people talk about cutting rates" at the ECB meeting, says Tim Kelleher, head of institutional FX sales NZ at ASB Institutional in Auckland. The currency "looks a little overstretched at 64/64.50 euro cents".
The New Zealand currency has decoupled slightly from US equities, with stocks on Wall Street falling in the lead-up to fourth-quarter earnings season, and Mr Kelleher says it will probably be sold at 84/84.50 US cents.
Aluminium producer Alcoa kicked off the season after the close of trading, signalling it expects demand for the metal to grow 7 percent this year.
New Zealand building consents fell 5.4 percent in November to 1423 after a small issuance of apartment consents, which are typically volatile. Excluding apartments, building consents climbed 4.6 percent in the month.
The kiwi increased to 79.84 Australian cents from 79.71 cents yesterday after government figures showed consumer spending across the Tasman unexpectedly shrank 0.1 percent in November.
It gained to 73.27 yen from 73.10 yen yesterday after Reuters reported the Bank of Japan will consider monetary easing this month and may double its inflation target to 2 percent.
The kiwi rose to 52.22 British pence from 51.86 pence yesterday and the trade-weighted index advanced to 75.45 from 75.16.